It was 5:00 when I left the house to venture out on the road to commute to class. I usually leave the house around 5:30, but I anticipated traffic as Pope Francis is visiting Philadelphia. The traffic was minimal. I pulled into a parking spot on the school campus with an hour to burn before class. I’ve been completely focused on my This I Believe essay. I took the extra time as an opportunity to listen to some of the essays on Thisibelieve.org to observe other’s writing styles. The clock was approaching 6:00, so I slung my backpack over my shoulder and headed towards the stem building.
I usually get to class fairly early and utilize my time to study for my psychology class. I took a seat on a bench, out front of the classroom, next to Emily as she was typing on a laptop.
“Awe shit… You busted out the laptop. Your writing must be getting pretty serious”, I said.
“My job gave me this laptop cause the Pope is in town, but my boss is a bitch and expects to see me at work tomorrow. I’m gonna call out. Fuck it. I have so many days I can use. I’m not going to work at the office”, Emily said, “I’ve had a shitty week”
“If your job gave you a laptop, there’s no reason that you just can’t work from home tomorrow”, I said.
“Yeah, I know. I’m gonna work from home tomorrow, but when I left work today, my boss said, I’ll see ya tomorrow. She wants to see me in the office. I don’t know why she needs to see my face. We can facetime if she wants”, Emily said,
Just then Anna came walking up and sat next to me. “I brought paper this week”, Anna said. “Nice”, Emily said.
“Were we supposed to bring hard copies of our assignments this week”, I asked.
“No,” Anna said. “I forgot my paper for notes, so I ran to the computer lab and took some scrap paper to write on", Anna said.
“Why didn’t you ask one of us for paper”, I asked, “We would have gave you some”, I said.
“I had a bit of time before class started when I realized I left my paper in my car. I didn’t have enough time to get to the car, but I was walking past the computer lab, so I grabbed some scrap paper, but I didn’t realize it was printed on, on both sides”, Anna said.
At this time, Mangini came walking down the hall and unlocked the classroom. The vibe was weird after we entered the class. Mangini wasn’t his normal talkative self. The students mingled with each other as Mangini started to write his notes on the dry erase board. Usually he would chime in with our conversations and laugh out loud as he jotted the notes on the board, but this week was different. He placed the Expo marker on the ledge of the board and sat at his computer. His computer screen is projected on a large projector screen for presentation purposes. He was shuffling through emails while still not talking. “He must be on his man period”, I thought.
Mangini started to type. “I’m not going to speak for the first hour of class…”
He followed up with a statement directing us to open our email. In the email was a 3-question survey about the growth mindset. We were to answer with the “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” rating system.
Class was interesting. We had to follow Mangini’s gestures. It forced me to focus more and brought me to realize how often my head floats into the clouds while in class. During this week’s class, my head was pretty grounded. Last week we were assigned to write a paper on Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset. We were given 8 videos to watch as resources. Mangini asked us to hand in the notes we took on the videos we watched. Shit. I didn’t take notes on the videos. I felt confident that I could explain what I had watched, but I had no notes to detail specifics like; Who the narrator was in the videos, what their credentials were, etc… That aspect of the class opened my eyes to my own bad habits. I need to take notes.
After the hour of silence, Mangini asked us to illustrate growth and fixed mindsets on the dry erase board. Bri was nominated to write on the board because her handwriting looks like a font. She draws a pretty decent brain too. I recommended that we draw two brains; one in a cage to represent a fixed mindset, and one with a muscular arm to represent the growth mindset. Kylie drew a barbell with books as weights in the hands of the growth mindset brain. I left my seat and stepped up to the board to help. I began to write along with Bri and Kylie as classmates spewed out characteristics of each mindset. It was an awesome exercise. Apparently Mangini recorded us and uploaded the video to his twitter account.
At the end of class Mangini asked, "Does anyone have any questions?"
"This is off topic, but if I opt to try and get my This I Believe paper published, how many words does it have to be,” I asked. "My paper is pretty long and I assume I can't have a half an hour long recording, if I were to record myself reading it", I said.
Mangini responded with a compelling story about how he wrote a story about when he worked with his father, doing tile. He went into detail about how decided to take the shot to have it published at school. He wasn't sure if he wanted his father to read it, but figured his father would never see it. The paper was published. He decided to take a chance and see if the newspaper would publish the paper. On Father's Day, the paper ran his article; the perfect gift for his father. He mentioned how he another publisher showed interest in his piece and wanted to publish it, but it had to be 500 words. He cut it down, recycled it, and was paid $500 for his piece. That is exactly what I did in this text, with the exceptions of being paid and published multiple times. I revised a piece I wrote earlier and used it for this piece.